Part of my journey in claiming my Authentic Self and Striving to be the best version of myself brought the awareness that I wanted equal relationships within all my connections. To go deeper it was necessary I looked at friendships, partnerships, business, and family relationships. I have come to the place in my life that I was no longer just a giver to others (which I had been for decades) but I also am very gracious and grateful to receive. I came to believe giving and receiving are different but also can carry dualistic thinking just as good-bad, open-closed, awake-asleep are. When I became aware of relationships, especially those with a long history, that were not equal between them and me, it was a struggle to stay in those situations. Believe me, I tried to give the other person the benefit of my doubts, and an opportunity to choose to be equal with me. I saw myself being equal with them and wanted that history between us to matter. Those people who put me on a different plateau than them continued and I just could not continue as I always had. I verbalized to the ones in the unbalanced relationships my truth, and drastic change did occur. I have no regrets for living in my truth once I am clear and awakened it becomes a core value that I am not comfortable going against and ignoring. I do believe once we awaken we cannot go back to sleep.
The fact I observe many people who believe it is better to give than receive has recently triggered in a positive way why receiving is harder than giving. I have the history that it was important to recognize the needs of others and wanted to always give of myself, my time, and my energy and even material things . This is not a bad way to live life, but when a person is mostly a giver and has issues receiving offers of help, material goods, kindness I think there may be an underlying reason.
As I reflect on my own journey changing from only being a giver I realized a few interesting things. When we are only giving we just may be demonstrating in our subconscious mind we are a generous, kind, loving person, and often that is to pat our ego on its back . I had to ask myself what was my intention in giving. Was it 100% to be there for another or were there times the shadow side of my personality was giving to show evidence of my goodness, to “fix” another’s brokenness, or to avoid looking and ignoring my own needs (self care put on back burner)? Receiving involves intimacy and vulnerability. When I ran from intimacy I could not accept compliments, help, or gifts from another. Being afraid of that deep place within of vulnerability also blocked me from the willingness to receive without having to give back to the giver. Big awarenesses to a person who had practiced life long years of co-dependency! I think the greatest part was discovering I carried shame from my early life and did not feel worthy and deserving to receive so I just kept giving….often at the point I was too drained to give any more but did anyway because I was stuck in my pattern of behavior!
Over the years I have learned to listen to my body having been convinced my body will never lie! When someone in my past offered me something whether it was an offer to help, to listen, a material object, or an opinion this was how I first became aware of how challenging it was to receive from another. I would get knots in my belly, shoulders would tighten up, or I would space out. It took me quite a while of being willing to receive as much as I was willing to give. My head would tell me I wanted to receive with ease, but my strong entrenched pattern of being Super Giver cancelled it out until I shifted. I honestly believe when I started taking risks to be vulnerable and to experience true intimacy with friends and others is when the heart knowledge of knowing giving and receiving are equal partners.
I am still a person who gives but the difference before I make the decision for someone else that I know what they need, I ask them. My former pattern was to believe I knew what was best for others, and I would bulldoze over them with my giving and doing for a whole multitude of people thinking it was an act of kindness. Today I am aware when I do for others especially when they can choose to do for themselves, I am taking away their right to ask for help from them. That old way was pretty arrogant and selfish, I believe.
When I could not or had difficulty receiving I did not feel worthy and I felt unsafe. What lay under that was I did not trust myself or anyone else, and jumped right into trying to control who, what, when , and in what settings I was willing to give. Furthermore, because I carried this big need to be in “control” when someone offered to give to me I felt they had control on some level over me. What finally helped me was when I began trusting in Divine Source. I had to do that before I could transfer trust to humans. Once I had a better handle on trusting and believing I was worthy of receiving as much as giving, I woke up to a great extent. As with other elements in my life over time, inner work has been the keystone out of my self imposed prison of fear and confusion. Still after years of doing much inner work vulnerability can feel scary, but my history is the evidence I can pull up and see how beneficial my willingness to do life a different way really is not only for myself but for every person I am in relationship with. I come back to my need to have relationships of equality, and every time it has to start with me. We really do teach people how to treat us, and choosing the road to becoming the best version of myself is a high priority. As a result I can receive with a wide open heart without feeling guilty or that I owe the giver something back, and I can give to another without carrying around a hidden motive. Practice really does make progress!